TAI for children: Trying Transanal Irrigation for the first time

November 22 2018

This afternoon I had the huge privilege of meeting Emily aged 'four and a lot' (nearly five). Emily has cerebral palsy and was diagnosed aged two. I feel so humbled but also honored that I was involved in their lives today. This is why I love my job so much.


The image is illustration only

Bev Collins is a Clinical Nurse Lead and member of Wellspect's nursing team. In this post she shares an inspiring encounter.

Emily has both urinary and fecal incontinence. She wears a nappy and has NEVER sat on the toilet. Speaking with her mother last week we discussed buying a toilet seat for children to encourage Emily to sit on the toilet.

Emily has been so good during the summer, allowing her mother to insert the “slippery bum stick” (catheter) inside her to practice every day. As a reward, Emily has had her bedroom decorated with unicorn wallpaper! (I need unicorn wallpaper in my life!).

We all practised setting up the equipment together and showed Emily the balloon – she touched and gave a squeeze too! Emily had the slippery bum stick inserted laying down on a changing mat and then she used the buttons on the electronic device to inflate the balloon. 

She then stood and stepped onto the toilet. This was the most traumatic part for Emily. She had never sat on a toilet seat before so she felt scared of the hole underneath her.

Emily instilled 500 millilitres of water herself with guidance from her mother and myself. She deflated the balloon and counted to three before the catheter was removed.

She sat on the toilet and the evacuation started! With every shriek of laughter Emily passed more and more water and feces! She laughed and laughed and her mother cried with delight! She was very proud at the end of the irrigation!

The process took 10 minutes start to finish! Emily has had a poo on the big toilet today for the first time in her life!

I am so proud of her! TAI is life changing. 

Love my job! 



Download the parental guide: Your child and transanal irrigation

Topics: Children and TAI, Bowel dysfunction